TfL sets out further new proposals for more than 400,000km increase in buses services in outer London

06 March 2023
"Access to public transport is vital to encourage sustainable growth in London and allow everyone to make the most of the city."
  • These are a key part of the Mayor's commitment to improving the bus network in outer London with more than one million extra kilometres of bus services
  • Proposals to redesign buses routes around Wembley Park and Stadium, supporting new development in the area, will be published in the coming weeks

TfL recently confirmed plans to make bus travel easier with an increase in real-time journey information across the city

Proposals for improvements to bus services in the Brent Cross, Harold Wood/Upminster, Stonebridge Park and Tooting areas have been published today. Transport for London (TfL) has launched four consultations that propose extensions of routes to key growth areas or town centres, and more direct and frequent services.  

Buses play a crucial role in making London a more prosperous and connected city, connecting Londoners to their workplaces, education, families, friends, shopping and leisure. They are the most affordable, accessible and available forms of public transport in London and offer the main sustainable alternative to cars for journeys that can't easily be walked or cycled.  

When the Mayor made the decision to tackle the toxic air that causes around 4,000 premature deaths every year by expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), he promised more than one million extra kilometres would be added to outer London's bus network. As a result of all buses being ULEZ compliant, there is a 90 per cent reduction in NO2 in London's air.  

Increased and improved bus services will help encourage more people to use public transport ahead of the ULEZ expansion in August this year and maximise the benefits of the scheme. These proposals, which will be followed by more enhancements across London, would improve TfL's already extensive and attractive bus network in outer London. 

Today (Monday 6 March), TfL has launched public consultations on improving buses in outer London by: 

  • Extending the route 79 to serve Stonebridge Park station and beyond. This will ensure new homes and communities along Mount Pleasant and Beresford Avenue are served by enough buses and create new direct links for people in the Stonebridge Park, Beresford Avenue and Mount Pleasant areas to and from Ealing Road, Wembley, Wembley Park, Queensbury, Canons Park and Edgware
  • Changing eight routes in the Brent Cross Cricklewood area to prepare the network to serve the new Brent Cross West rail station, the growing Brent Cross Town community and other developments around Edgware Road
  • Extending route 497 from Harold Wood to Upminster to create a direct link between these town centres, replacing the indirect link that two less frequent routes currently offer and responding to local demand 
  • Extending route 315 from Balham station to the new housing, medical and retail centre, and 32-acre park at Springfield University Hospital in Tooting

Further enhancements are planned for Brent, with proposals to redesign buses routes around Wembley Park and Stadium to support new development in the area due to be published in the coming weeks. TfL is also continuing work on plans for further expansion across outer London, including in Southall and Haringey.  

These will complement previously announced enhancements, which include three new routes in the Sutton and Croydon areas, with improved services to the new Cancer Hub at the Royal Marsden Hospital. New zero-emission cross-river services will also be introduced in east London, subject to consultation. 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: "I'm proud to have announced an ambitious plan for improving the bus network and delivering an increase of more than one million extra kilometres in outer London ahead of the expansion of the ULEZ London-wide in August this year.  

"I really encourage Londoners to share their views on how TfL can further improve bus services in their area. These exciting improvements will strengthen the alternatives to private car use, and make it much easier to get around key parts of outer London by public transport.  

"Buses sit at the heart of the capital's transport network and these improvements to the network will help us to continue building a better, greener and fairer city for all Londoners." 

Geoff Hobbs, Director of Public Transport Service Planning at TfL, said: "Access to public transport is vital to encourage sustainable growth in London and allow everyone to make the most of the city. Buses play a fundamental role in that, which is why we're pleased to be launching consultations on improving buses in outer London.  

"More frequent, direct and usable services will help make buses the natural choice across the city, which is especially important as we tackle economically damaging congestion, health damaging toxic air and climate damaging carbon." 

Councillor Krupa Sheth, Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Action at Brent Council, said: "This is a great opportunity to have your say on more buses in Brent, in particular Stonebridge Park, Beresford Avenue and Mount Pleasant. An increase in public transportation will not only make the borough even more accessible, but also help us move towards a more sustainable future.  

"Part of the deal with ULEZ is that it is as easy as possible for you to get around, so I am delighted that we are working towards over 400,000km worth of bus routes across London. I encourage residents to have their say and let TfL know how this could improve your journey." 

Cllr Alan Schneiderman, Chair of Barnet Environment & Climate Change Committee at Barnet Council, said: "More frequent and additional bus services are crucial to help connect communities in a more sustainable way and to keep an outer-London borough like Barnet moving. I welcome this extra investment from the Mayor and TfL, including bus connections to the new Brent Cross West station. I encourage as many people as possible to respond to the consultation."

Clare Fraser, Wandsworth Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "I welcome the extension to the 315 service to Springfield and hope that it encourages more residents to make the switch to public transport away from cars."

Ben Curtis of Campaign for Better Transport said: "Transport for London's commitment to expanding the bus network is very welcome indeed. Today's proposals to expand bus provision in outer London will give thousands of residents and visitors alike the ability to travel more seamlessly across our capital. Buses are the bedrock of London's transport network and offer an affordable, accessible and sustainable option to communities in all corners of the city. We are hailing this as a really positive step." 

These improvements will build on TfL's existing work to grow the bus network in outer London and create faster connections, provide better coverage and more direct, frequent services. Since 2016, TfL has introduced 12 new routes and made 43 route extensions along with increasing frequencies on many bus routes. Last year, TfL extended routes 180, 129, 472, 330, 497 and 241. TfL has also recently boosted the operation of routes 376, W4, H28 and A10, and introduced the new route 304 in east London.   

As well as new and improved bus routes, TfL is introducing a range of other improvements as part of its Bus Action Plan to make bus travel in London better and faster. The Plan aims to increase the number of customers choosing to travel by bus across London. This will involve creating a service that supports independent and spontaneous travel with improved customer information. Those using the bus will see faster journeys, with bus speeds improved by 10 per cent and an additional 25km of new bus lanes. There will be improved connections with better interchanges in outer London, without compromising Londoners' proximity to a bus stop. The Plan also includes a range of customer improvements including a major new roll-out of bus stop 'Countdown' signs and hundreds of new or upgraded shelters. Last week, TfL confirmed that more real-time information countdown signs will be installed in every London borough, boosting the total in the capital by 12 per cent.  

There are already more than 900 zero emission buses out on the city's streets, with plans for the whole fleet to be converted by 2030, subject to Government funding. TfL has committed to ensuring all new vehicles entering service are zero-emission and is working with bus manufacturers to develop a vibrant and competitive zero-emission market, alongside work with stakeholders to ensure necessary infrastructure is available to enable the transition.

Notes to editors

The consultations can be found:

TfL recently confirmed the increase in real-time countdown signs and the trial of new innovative real-time information here - 

TfL has also published its response to issues raised report following the decision to reassess its proposals for the central London bus network and cancel the changes Londoners were most concerned about after receiving new funding from the Mayor. The response to issues raised report can be found here: